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During this time, the period of the Seven Ecumenical Councils, there were considered five primary sees (jurisdictions within the Catholic Church) according to Eusebius: Rome, Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem and Alexandria, known as the Pentarchy.
The battles of Toulouse preserved the Catholic west, even though Rome itself was ravaged in 850, and Constantinople besieged.
This council affirmed that Gentiles could become Christians without adopting all of the Mosaic Law.
In part to ensure a greater consistency in their teachings, by the end of the 2nd century Christian communities had evolved a more structured hierarchy, with a central bishop having authority over the clergy in his city, leading to the development of the Metropolitan bishop.
though the issue of Paul of Tarsus and Judaism is still debated today.
To resolve doctrinal differences among the competing factions within the Church, in or around the year 50, the apostles convened the first Church council, the Council of Jerusalem.
That is, the Catholic Church considers the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, to be the successor to Saint Peter.
A series of more centrally organized persecutions of Christians emerged in the late 3rd century, when emperors decreed that the Empire's military, political, and economic crises were caused by angry gods.
The organization of the Church began to mimic that of the Empire; bishops in politically important cities exerted greater authority over bishops in nearby cities.
In the first few centuries of its existence, the Church formed its teachings and traditions into a systematic whole under the influence of theological apologists such as Pope Clement I, Justin Martyr and Augustine of Hippo.
Brown says that, while it is anachronistic to speak of Peter in terms of local bishop of Rome, Christians of that period would have looked on Peter as having "roles that would contribute in an essential way to the development of the role of the papacy in the subsequent church".
These roles, Brown says, "contributed enormously to seeing the bishop of Rome, the bishop of the city where Peter died, and where Paul witnessed to the truth of Christ, as the successor of Peter in care for the church universal".
Unlike most religions in the Roman Empire, Christianity required its adherents to renounce all other gods, a practice adopted from Judaism, see Idolatry.